The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Jack Procter-Blain

Jack Procter-Blain is a content executive for the Optimus team, particularly interested in all things SEN, safeguarding and pastoral.

He currently tweets from @OptimusSEND.

Latest blog posts

Jack Procter-Blain

You can be a mental health champion

A school's mental health lead is someone who can facilitate grassroots change. This means building resilience, improving communication and gaining trust. It’s a sore but well-known fact that the demand for mental health support in schools is greater than the capacity of external services. When, at...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Enhancing social skills one brick at a time

The very mention of LEGO ® in school might conjure images of chaos, but group brick-building has proved to be a highly effective intervention for pupils with SEND. LEGO® is everywhere these days. The iconic brick has established itself in just about every form you can imagine, from the classic sets...
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Jack Procter-Blain

‘Pledge-ucation’: an election manifesto quiz

Think you’re an edu-policy geek? Test your knowledge of the main party education manifestos. National election campaigning resumes in earnest today, with all parties now having launched their manifestos for a strong and stable Britain that works for the many, not the few and changes the future -...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Education: an election battleground?

Many promises for a better system of education will be made before June’s election. What issues are you hoping to see discussed, and what does the next government need to deliver? Just when you thought you'd voted enough... ( Picture credit: secretlondon123 ) As campaigning gets underway for June's...
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Jack Procter-Blain

How 'e-safe' are your pupils?

Are your pupils e-safe or at risk of digital danger? Test their knowledge of common online safety issues with this short quiz. The quiz touches on some of the risks young people can face online, including: sexting and the sharing of inappropriate images sophisticated 'phishing scams' and...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Inspecting e-safety: an update

Schools are struggling to train staff and foster a collective e-safety culture, according to a recent assessment report. How can they ensure that policy and practice are inspection-ready? Attendees at last week’s Bett exhibition were invited to a half-hour seminar on ‘Inspecting Keeping Children...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Bullying in schools: don't play the Trump card

The president-elect is a poor role model for young people. But to address the causes of bullying, we must go deeper. Notorious for his inflammatory remarks, is Donald Trump the bully-in-chief? Photo credit: Gage Skidmore The timing couldn't have been better. A US election you could mistake for...
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Jack Procter-Blain

My day at the SRE conference: new insights for effective teaching

With Tuesday's one-day conference still fresh in my mind, here is some of the guidance our speakers had to offer for delivering effective, age-appropriate SRE. Our Relationships and Sex Education conference on Tuesday was (as event chair Jane Lees put it) a day of ‘little steps’ and ‘giant leaps’...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Online pornography: prevent or educate?

The Digital Economy Bill takes the government’s preventative approach to online safeguarding a step further. However, is restricting access the right way to go? One childhood memory I have is of lingering in the back aisles of Blockbuster, waiting for my mum to buy me the new Grand Theft Auto video...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Are you clear on consent? Take the quiz!

Do you know the law when it comes to sex and relationships? Test your knowledge with this short quiz. The law clearly states that sexual intercourse without consent is illegal, and failing to make pupils aware of this can often put them at risk of becoming victims of rape or sexual assault. SRE...
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